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Altruistic approach opens doors for sharing and gaining knowledge

03 December 2019

Leading by example is said to be one of the most effective ways to encourage others to adopt the type of behaviours desired by any organisation and this method can be seen to have been adopted by businesses of all types and sizes.

Claire Curran

One of the most recent encouraging examples of this has been provided by Linaker managing director Claire Curran, who has further extended her achievements in the successful running of a respected hard service provider by becoming a board member of the Building Engineering Services Association (BESA).

As part of its role as a membership association, BESA provides a wide range of training, events, information and advice, with its SFG20 building management document widely used throughout the FM sector.

PFM asks Ms Curran about the process that led to her joining the BESA board. She replies: “Having worked for some 20 years in the FM industry, which has been so incredibly rewarding, I wanted to find a way in which I could give back and contribute to the sector.

"I’m a great advocate of self-delivery and the control and flexibility this offers clients – this is the direct operational methodology we operate at Linaker.

“In order for this methodology to succeed you need access to a highly skilled workforce or the ability to foster talent and support team members into becoming multiskilled,” she continues.

“Industry-wide, that means closing the skills gap; with BESA at the forefront of championing training for the engineers of tomorrow, through advanced training and apprenticeship schemes it was an easy choice to pick where I wanted to spend my efforts.”

Although still in the early stages of her involvement, she further explains how she has found the BESA board “to be very engaged, with a great energy and enthusiasm for the industry, pushing for positive change.

“It’s been very interesting to discover and begin to understand the effort required to create momentum within the government and make certain our great industry has a voice – and is heard.

"I’m looking forward to continuing to learn from my board peers – I hope I never stop learning – with their vast experiences and industry knowledge from differing perspectives making for interesting insights into an industry I am passionate about,” says Ms Curran.

While answering PFM’s question about whether she was the first representative from her company to join the BESA board, she further explains how the FM sector is changing its attitude to service delivery:

“I am the first representative from Linaker to join the BESA Board – which is incredibly exciting – but I think Linaker as a business reflects the way in which the FM industry is changing.

“There is a marked change in procurement, moving away from large FM organisations back to smaller SME type organisations, with this offering clients less risk and a more personal service,” she states.

“Will I be joined by colleagues in the future? Yes, I hope to be and have recently recommended one of my technical directors, Rob Knight, to participate in the technical board helping to shape SFG20, a fundamental backbone of the M&E industry.

"My HR manager, Jacquie Price and London business director, Terry Robinson, are also getting involved, participating in wellbeing activities within BESA.”

With her tenure on the association’s board already deemed to be providing benefits, despite being in its early states, Ms Curran says she is keen to support BESA and its progression as much as possible. “There’s no point in having an opinion on what should change if you’re not willing to invest in making it happen,” she says.

There seems little doubt that joining the board was the result of a positive experience through being a member of the association and this was confirmed in more detail by Ms Curran:

“BESA membership and SFG20 are fundamental to the way in which we approach contracting with the majority of our clients.

“It allows us to tailor specifications that are appropriate and offer best practice to clients helping them to understand their obligations in this technical arena.

"BESA also provides the industry’s voice on issues such as curriculum content for the development of tomorrow’s talent, lobbying for payment terms, and also when new VAT rules will be implemented, allowing SMEs to survive and prosper and have the time they need to change their processes to accommodate these changes in legislation,” she continues.

The association is additionally the supplier of a foundation for technical managers, engineers and apprentices to be celebrated for their contribution to the industry, which Ms Curran describes as “really important in driving talent into an industry which is sometimes all about fixing problems and not about everything that was fixed before it created a problem.

“I’m exceptionally proud to have been given this opportunity and will endeavour to make the most of it in terms of both my personal development, and for the development of others.

"Once I am fully versed in my understanding of the key initiatives for 2020, I will want to become a facilitator for action and create the presence which BESA deserves in the industry for the great work it continues to do every day for the better of us all,” Ms Curran concludes.

In addition to providing a highly positive example of leading by example, she looks set to be on course to continue both her personal and professional development while assisting her colleagues in the same vein, with these benefits then feeding back into the continuing progression of her own company, the BESA organisation and its members.

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